Michael Eric Dyson Analyzes Jay-Z's Career And How To Push The Culture Forward

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#JayZMadeInAmerica <br> <h3>Auto Generated Captions</h3>

Breakfast Club yaps – well no dangers
morning show The Breakfast Club
Charlemagne – God Angela a DJ envy is
out and one of my favorite people on the
whole planet is here man my man Michael
Eric Dyson yes sir you got a new book
jay-z made in America yes sir it’s a
course on jay-z as well that’s true –
your timing couldn’t be better from your
mouth to God’s ears well you know as
sister Angela was saying I’ve been
teaching a course on Jay for like the
last decade and nearly the last decade I
should say and so I wanted to take what
I’ve been doing in that class and put in
the book cause it appeared to me as it
should to anybody when you’re poring
over these lyrics this dude is a
rhetorical genius he is verbal invention
he’s got all kind of skills and the
irony is as great as people think Jay is
he’s underrated
he’s underrated because they don’t
understand the mechanics behind what
he’s doing
the kind of poetic rules and inventions
the use of metaphor simile how
sophisticated it is and then when you
add in there the fact he won’t even
write it down mm-hmm right be one thing
if you write that stuff down it’s still
remarkable and sophisticated but to know
you’ve got an oral tradition that you’re
pulling on and that you’re using to do
what you do I just said it’s pretty
remarkable I’ve written a book on Tupac
you know I got the book on nas’s first
album arguably the greatest album in the
history of hip-hop no matter yo mattock
and then this book kind of is the
finishing of a trilogy of figures who
have been incredibly important and
influential in the world of hip-hop
I read PUC I write how have you hear me
yes I read that long long time ago yeah
man I don’t think I read the o matic one
though yeah the O Matic is a the
illmatic is an anthology of ten
different essays that ten different
zones and I did the one about him you
know writing a letter his brother you
know somebody writing a letter from
prison to him one love because my
brother who has since died last year I
had to preach his funeral
after 30 years in prison was there and
so that struck me so yeah we did we did
a book on that man that was that was
pretty dope it’s interesting you’ve been
teaching this course at Georgetown for
ten years and so much has happened in
jay-z’s life in the course of that ten
years so how do you adjust to that as
you come up with your syllabus every
year yeah that’s a great point
well you gotta evolve you know and and
hope is putting out so much work and
putting in so much work in doing so many
things because it’s not just the music
he’s doing it’s what he’s doing beyond
the culture of hip-hop itself or it’s
especially beyond rap so his business
ventures his engagement in the world his
entrepreneurial you know exploits his
criminal justice reform stuff all of
that stuff and then just the music
itself just the words themselves the
density of his poetic inventiveness it’s
something that I’m preoccupied with so
every time out you know we focus on a
different aspect or a different level of
his creativity and look at new stuff
he’s done weather you know he might have
just gone to you know Cuba with Beyonce
and he’s snapping it back at people who
were trying to criticize him he might be
talking about you know his you know
elevation into the billionaire’s Club he
might be speaking about a recent social
injustice that he needs to address so
there’s always fresh fodder for the
Canon when it comes to hope do you guys
communicate with each other you know
pretty pretty routinely you know the
best best thing he did for me on this
book people say well he just said an
interview no cuz I got my ideas I don’t
need to interview hope I’ve been I’ve
been thinking about him for a decade
the most amazing thing he did for me was
to allow me to quote from these lyrics
so that I could stretch out and
interpret them because you know in most
most publishers are very skittish only
do half of sentences copyright we might
get sued and so I’ll reach out to my say
can i connect can you help
God forgive me for my breath delivery
but I remember vividly what this means
to me
imagine me allowing you to nitpick at me
betray me like a pig anew so you know
and I had asked him could he give me
permission and he when he signed off it
blew my publishers minds but that’s why
even on the cover you see the the lyrics
of the old Jay song embossed there it’s
pretty dope cover I must say I did not
glue it but it’s a pretty nice cover and
we wanted to do something that was
worthy of hope and on the inside you can
see that Basquiat influenced kind of
artwork on the inside there so you know
he gave permission to do that and that
that makes a big difference why is the
book dedicated to Michael Rubin and
Robert Frederick Smith yeah well you
know both of them are interestingly
enough are connected to Jay okay on his
criminal justice reform Krim
you know reform alliance and you know
Michael Rubin was instrumental in
helping MacNeil get out of jail so for
that alone I got to get you some love
yeah but then understanding that you got
to leverage that to a larger issue that
Jay is concerned about cash bails are
jacked up the kind of dysfunction of the
criminal justice system that saw Meek
Mill go in and out of prison for parole
violations for a decade for some
nonsense when he was a child or are a
young teen or a teenager and then you
know to address that as they used to
call them owners but partners of the
Philadelphia 76ers was worthy of that in
Robert Frederick Smith when you go to
Morehouse and drop 40ml on them yes sir
and say yes and your future is
vouchsafed and it’s secure as a result
of what this gesture is about I got to
show love and respect so both of them
are connected to that reform alliance
but both of them have done significant
things to advance the ball in terms of
advocating for the future of young black
men in America and young black people
what is jay-z gotten right in this whole
NFL situation and what has he gotten
wrong well look I think that you know
people say oh he sold
he just messed up he he first of all
he’s rocking the Colin Kaepernick Jersey
and then he turns around and he’s and
he’s telling other artists not to be
involved in the Super Bowl and then he
turns around and he’s advising them and
he’s cutting a deal I think what people
misunderstand is that you got to have a
3-point shooter and you’ve got to have
baseline hmm
you’ve got to have Steph Curry and you
got to have LeBron going in and jamming
the ball and you got to have people
occupying both spaces inside outside
Martin Luther King jr. standing outside
I have a dream criticizing the social
injustice –is that prevail but then
Martin Luther King jr. going inside with
Lyndon Baines Johnson the president and
saying how do we craft the civil rights
bill of 1964 how do we craft legislation
for the Voting Rights Act
now the Voting Rights Act is brought
into existence not because of the good
graces of the presidency or the desire
even though LBJ wanted to do that but he
wanted to have a social condition that
prevailed a political pressure brought
to bear to make it sensible to do so
that’s how things work you remember that
famous story that that Harry Belafonte
loves to tell that FDR Franklin Delano
Roosevelt who was the president back in
the early part of the 20 min part of the
20th century is having lunch with a
philip Randolph and I think Mary Mary
McLeod Bethune and he said look I agree
with everything you’re out there
protesting about now make me do it so go
out there raise enough consciousness put
enough pressure that I have no I have no
other recourse but then to do what is
necessary to do to sign legislation King
understood that yes sir Stokely
Carmichael understood yes sir
I to be Wells earlier understood that in
certainly so many other septum of Clark
Joanne Robinson Ella Baker Fannie Lou
Hamer and the like so the point is you
got to have both and not either/or and
so when jay-z is out putting pressure on
the NFL people don’t give him credit for
this that the fact that he said don’t go
do the Super Bowls and halftime shows
and look in stadiums to NFL need
we don’t need Wien stadiums – that puts
pressure they didn’t just do it because
of the goodness of their hearts they saw
this man will significant economic
influence and cultural power and as a
result of that the pushback was genuine
and palpable so now they invite him in
to have a conversation what’s these
poses go no I want you to do right oh
but I’m not gonna tell you what I think
is right well if I tell you what you’re
doing is wrong and then you invite me
into the conversation to say what’s
right I gotta sit down and tell you if
your wife rolls up on you what you’re
doing is jacked up well I’m sorry can
you help me do better sure let me tell
you XY and Z so the thing is to have
maybe a weak analogy but one that is
relevant so so for me Jay Z going inside
is really responding to the pressure he
brought to bear on the outside and
sitting down talking about either the
racks that are going on and half time
all right but the social justice agenda
and do we really doubt that colin
kaepernick whatever you think of it
colin kaepernick
a bold amazing iconic social justice
figure would never have had an
opportunity to even have what is now a
botched you know try out an audition for
the NFL without jay-z bringing pressure
to bear now the people who were critical
Jay said well damn you think at least he
could have done it’s got my man a job
first of all Danny hi work are you not
understanding of how it works
roger goodell who is the Commissioner
can’t even go to a team and make them do
it what can they leverage Authority yeah
can they say wink wink nod nod come on
bro let’s do something for this guy
jay-z is putting enormous pressure you
know Roger Goodell if he wanted to do
that he would have done so before jay-z
came on the scene absolutely so we know
jay-z’s presence was significant there
we know that jay-z leveraged his
political and cultural capital so to
speak to be able to provide this
opportunity for a Colin Kaepernick so
for me it’s the inside versus outside
dichotomy that we’ve got to reckon with
and we got to stop the hate if you
disagree with me then I’m a cone then
I’m a sellout I’m not saying that
they’re not people who have done
dastardly things in the name of racial
duty and who deserved to be called out
or at least call to account but the
ready ready resort to trying to beat
people up and
you were Conan you you know what you
Kooning somebody today and you gonna be
coon the next day you cancel somebody
today you gonna get canceled yourself
the next day and he did the same thing
to MLK jr. they call him a coon they
call him a sellout
depressed to an anxiety like oh my god
and he was called a sellout by Malcolm X
people elevate Malcolm whom I love and
adore Malcolm X who grew who said that
King was the greatest weapon the white
man has ever had he was a time talking
about King and then he he’s basically
canceling King and then he gets
cancelled because some of his own fellow
black believers called him we treat him
that he’s a traitor ourselves the cause
dude once you get down that slippery
slope
ain’t no ending to that yeah yeah and
and I think that’s why it’s problematic
you know I’m not with the variety of the
recent criticisms of cancer culture
about purity you know what I’m talking
about like you know beatin up on young
black people young black people have
been amazing the brilliant
reaction and rebellion and righteous
resistance to social injustice is
beautiful using social media to do so is
beautiful and and and furthermore
studies have been shown that people who
are active on social media are also
likely to be active be on social media
so this notion that oh you’re just your
Twitter fingers even though some people
have them or you posted up on Instagram
and that’s that’s true too the
likelihood is that there is a
correlation between the two activities
so I don’t I don’t I don’t beat up on
young people for that what I beat up on
people for at least call them to account
is the intolerance like give people
let’s have some ethical patience let’s
let’s see how things work out let’s at
least grant somebody the possibility
that they’re acting in good faith even
if I fundamentally disagree with them so
I’m not trying to beat up on anybody and
say hey what you’re saying is wrong or
that you should have criticism I’ve
lived my life writing 21 books as a
social and cultural critic I believe in
criticism but that’s engaged and
informed some people going off
half-cocked don’t know what you’re
talking about
and got no sense of history don’t know
what happened 5 years before you were
born
don’t know what happened 10 days ago and
yet now on Twitter you become a world
historical Hegelian figure he wields the
knowledge that is so devastating that
you can speak on anything and everything
without competence insight wisdom or
consideration that I think
is problematic what do you think about
Steven Naismith take on Colin Kapernick
not actually conforming with to what the
NFL wanted him to do well you know I was
on look see when they Smith is a friend
of mine I’m friendly with Colin
Kaepernick I love and adore him and I
think look what Steven Naismith was
trying to suggest is that in the context
of what the NFL is first of all we know
they messed up we know dejected we know
they took a job from you that you
shouldn’t have had taken from you you
know this right and that’s that’s not a
mystery the fact that Colin Kaepernick
even has to be in this position is
fundamentally unjust the fact that he
has to be begging for something not
begging asking for something an
opportunity to show that he is capable
of performing in an NFL when he didn’t
because of his own merit failed to do
that when because it wasn’t his arm
wasn’t good it wasn’t that heat now now
true enough he had some troubles when he
was starting and he was benched in favor
of somebody else and so on that’s all
true but the man still wields tremendous
talent and it’s better than half the
people starting right now and certainly
the people they go on the street and
find him bring into the NFL because
they’re desperate for quarterback so
there’s no question that the white
supremacist outlooking mindset in
worldview in Felton cheongun and every
other word you can generate of these
owners that prevents them from
understanding that their own bigotry and
bias will keep Colin Kaepernick on the
sidelines is a serious issue that cannot
be dismissed having said that when you
walk in the dough you know that you know
who your enemy is you know who you
dealing with are they gonna give you a
fair shot and this is the tradition if I
can say that that some black people
including Steven Naismith come from
here’s the position black people always
against the eyes it ain’t never fair hmm
right Martin Luther King jr. could
forget a waiver on a contract forget now
am I saying that that’s not important
right because if the waiver being signed
was to suggest that somehow you would
you would surrender your right to be
able to sue in the future or to accuse
people of further collusion right that’s
that’s idiotic anybody trying to do that
but the broader issue is this Pharaoh
will never provide you a scholarship for
freedom right the people who are your
enemies and your opponents will never
can’t you even the fair conditions for
you to compete but the best of our
people have competed against the odds
was it fair for Jackie Robinson to have
to live the way he did no was it right
no did he do it yes should we have to
know Colin Kaepernick have to exist by a
kind of segregated Jim Crow law in the
modern era in 2019 when we’ve had you
know voting rights for black people in
the south since 1965 no no but his white
supremacy still real yes does it amplify
within the cauldrons of you know the NFL
and American institutional culture and
corporate culture absolutely so the
thing is knowing that going in the door
you don’t never expect them to be fair
you demand you request but you go out
there and show you know what even with
your funky found nefarious tricks
tourism I’m gonna show you I can toss
this rock I can chuck this pill I can
throw this pigskin and I can do what’s
necessary do put the burden back on them
and then if they don’t hire you even
though we know now he still can play
they already know that if they don’t
hire you that’s on them die that’s
that’s up to them so I think there’s a
tradition of black response and I know a
lot of black people oh my god this is
the politics of respectability and
you’re trying to prove that you’re twice
as good just to compete I’m sorry I’m 61
years old that’s the generation I’m from
right is it fair that at Georgetown many
students come to me who are not in my
classes who have never never taken the
class from me who are not my immediate
students who want advice and insight and
counseling is that what I’m paying for
no is that my job yes is that my
responsibility yes is that what I’m
supposed to do yes is it extra yes do I
get paid no but that’s what I understand
the job to be so you know and it’s
difficult to have this conversation in
public because these are the kind of
conversations that were had before we
think they’re new I mean they were
debating this you know should we march
today or not should we use this strategy
or not the younger people were pissed at
King snick was mad at him he comes to
town he gets off the press he comes to
town everybody’s focused on him the
cameras on him doncha cago right in
Chicago or or if the march on Selma
wherever king went they caught him de la
behind his back they were they were
signifying on him hmm right they they
were joking they were trying to clown
him because he liked silk pajamas let me
see his life is being threatened every
day 28 days of the year 28 days of the
month most of the time he’s on the road
his health is a wreck when they did the
autopsy for his body it said he at the
heart of a 65 year old men and he was 39
he suffered as you already alluded to to
clinical depression
he gave 370 some odd speeches a year
neighbor 365 days in the year he gave up
his money from his book from his
royalties to his alma mater and he gave
most of his money that he got from
speaking to the movement and he wanted
silk pajamas and you’re gonna clown him
he don’t get cancer if Martin Luther
King jr. were alive today he’d be
canceled 50 times a million times right
so my point is is that yes there is a
thing such as loving Colin Kaepernick
supporting Colin Kaepernick wanting him
to do the best and the right thing and
suggesting this you could tighten up
some of you some of you strategy to you
could there’s a way in what you might
approach this there might be different
now this is not to put the burden on him
like you do the right thing and and then
the NFL was let off the hook no but we
know we’re living in a white supremacist
society where the the patent unfairness
and hypocrisy is pervasive so knowing
that going in the door be armed to be
able to compete and to deal with this
this is why by the way when Martin
Luther King jr. and other figures in his
branch of the movement were involved
they were rigorously trained they were
taught principles they were talked about
they were taught about social injustice
how to deal with potential scenarios
that would prevail that allowed them to
be able to do their best on the
battlefield I would say a lot of what
you said most of it and if I was capped
this week and I would have saw that
waiver when he was trying to get me to
sign over my rights to you know not be
able to suit your future and if they
would have gave me a ultimatum that said
hey I don’t know if this is true they
gave my ultimatum that say take it or
leave it you got two hours right I said
them of course I mean who wouldn’t
do that so you wouldn’t have the
the tryout no and if I did all the other
tried I would have only held it for
attention so when I got in front of them
cameras I put them on blast for that
wave oh well see that’s the thing see
here’s the part of the problem you know
the NFL is saying one thing about the
waivers they’re swearing up and down
that’s not what it is right it’s being
misrepresented the thing is a standard
waiver of course in caps ID is saying
something else so we don’t really know
they showed me I saw an article
yesterday on where they showed the
standard waiver and write the cap got it
was definitely more language in caps
with what no doubt and and in the bottom
line is beyond the waiver the man has
been mistreated ain’t nobody else
getting subject to what he’s being
submitted so it’s criminal at that level
there’s no question about that
but that’s different from us then trying
to figure out what is the strategic
response and we don’t have to be
sellouts because we say hey there’s a
way in which you can do it is it is it
wrong to say hey camp it might be good
then when people trying to get at you
who know stuff about this you could
respond to them right now let me give
you an example
I love Colin Kaepernick I was at the
Tyler Perry event yes sir the big
shindig yes you know and when Beyonce
thank me for you know showing love to
them all the time after that I don’t
know really what happened if the float
of eternity had descended with you know
powerful in poetic intensity stop hating
so the thing is is that Kaepernick came
up to me said look man I’m after
straighten you out about what’s going on
I said Cole I’m available right I said
but cap I’ll be texting you you don’t
reply back you give me a text when you
want me to be your PR guy to tell what’s
going on in the world but when I’m
trying to get at you to interview you
I’ve defended Kaepernick in my last
three books in tears we cannot stop a
sermon about America and what true
sounds like Jail Robert F Kennedy James
Baldwin and the converses unfinished
conversation on race in America and now
in this book on Jay Z I love and adore
him I admire him but I think that
there’s a way in which we could talk
honestly behind the scenes about things
they ain’t got to be me and and miss
miss Nessa a lovely brilliant wonderful
partner you know said hey I want to talk
to you I called both of them ain’t got
no response now I’m
I try to put them on blast na my point
cuz you ain’t got to call Michael Eric
Dyson but I’m saying talk to people and
I hope you are in your community but is
it wrong to say we can talk off stage
off off the phone behind the scenes so I
could offer whatever I do I kind of do
this for a living
I’ve ridden 21 books I’ve been teaching
for 30 years I’m out here in these
streets I’m doing what I do I’m saying I
do have something and people usually pay
me a bunch of money for that I’m trying
to offer it to you for free you ain’t
got to take my advice
but I’m saying engage but don’t be upset
then in the public sphere and square
when I have to then talk about there
could be alternatives to strategic
intervention because you think it’s hard
for Colin Anessa to trust people like
this more I can understand what I did
they get it they get a lot of deference
and especially I think this whole
situation with jay-z it just it divided
the culture in a way that it shouldn’t
it shouldn’t it shouldn’t have died too
and look look I’m not reprimanding them
in the least I’m not suggesting that
they are somehow callous are indifferent
the death threats look out for 30 years
oh I know I’ve been doing you do it we
right so I and I’m sure it’s been
exacerbated in his case and the evil and
the malign assault upon him and the
resentment that a black man would be
uppity what stand up against white
supremacy and social injustice and then
leverage his own career in defense of
his principles it is remarkable and
powerful at the same time if you tell if
you’re challenging me about you want to
straighten me out and I call you to get
straightened out you don’t straighten me
out dog getting on me and I’m saying and
I love you and I’m saying this now
because I would rather say it into the
phone I would read you know when people
say why couldn’t you call them I did
right and listen here that doesn’t mean
therefore because I didn’t hear from you
I’m going to do I’m gonna be principled
in my response regardless you’re gonna
speak on what you know from what you’ve
I must speak what I believe what I know
what I think how I reflect the
understanding of how this stuff is
operated in the past the ways in which
leaders have clashed and disagreed this
ain’t the first time cancer culture
didn’t invent it it just amplifies it
more it makes it more immediate and
people are weighing in they’re tweeting
they’re texting they’re facebooking
their answer
there you know whatever other social
media they are snapchatting and face you
know what facetiming or whatever to try
to communicate ideas which is great the
democratization of media culture is an
instantaneous rebuff to those who had
willed the power against the masses on
at the same time it also mandates that
we really be well informed and deeply
involved with an understanding
historically politically socially and
economically about what’s happening that
mean we’re gonna agree it doesn’t mean
because you are understanding of all
this history that you still can’t
disagree with another person it just
means that your your your differences
are informed and considered and as a
result of that we can have more
productive conversations you know I
don’t want to ask you about but honestly
I wish Kapil just say the NFL
that’s the more honest I wish he would
just be like I don’t want to play no
more I know but look at you if somebody
did that to you and then said I just
wish Charlemagne will just say radio
that’s me yeah come on I’m just saying
man it comes a point in time where you
have to have some integrity about
yourself yeah and stop and stop kind of
like knocking on these white people door
when you know they don’t want to let you
in well all of us knocking on the white
man’s door oh we you had to is this a
black no okay they’re coming to get you
they kicked me up right for three years
that’s theory they kicked me out for
three years no money support your family
your wife looking at you got money
though what he’s passionate about he
grew up and this is his life like
football he wants to play in the NFL
dude he’s got skill yes doing the biceps
but he is Kaepernick he was one throw
from winning the Superbowl this is what
he’s born to do if somebody tells me
Dyson you can’t speak you can’t teach
I’m gonna go teach on the side road
somewhere that’s cold
but why deny me a legitimate legitimate
opportunity to speak in a classroom that
I have earned a degree for and the only
reason I can’t do it I didn’t apply my
wares and to practice my craft is
because of some arbitrary racist
refusal to acknowledge me that debt
would go down real tough I think what
we’re seeing right now the suffering
that comes from arguing with reality cuz
I think Colin Kapernick is bigger than
football I think he’s I think he might I
think he stands for more than what
football is and it might be as great as
gift that’s what I’m saying sometimes
you got to pay attention to how God has
pushed you in another direction and
especially after last week they gave him
that waiver that clearly shows they’re
still trying to collude against him but
I’d say so I would’ve gave him the
middle finger and been like eff y’all if
y’all Negro still watching the NFL y’all
really awesome sellout well here’s the
thing in the dark the divine in the
demonic feel the same right remembering
Jacob was wrestling with the angel and
it said Jacob wrestled all night long
until the morning why did he wrestled
into the morning cuz sometimes in the
dark the devil and God feel the same
they do the same stuff they push you
they irritate you they make you mad you
don’t know so what you think is God
could be evil and what you think is evil
could be God remember him Joseph with
the the the coat of many colors said you
meant it for evil but God meant it for
good but but at the moment that you’re
the recipient of and the object of
derision and scorn that stuff is awful
tough to take it might be God speaking
but it sounds like the devil’s voice you
hear hmm so all of us have to struggle
with what God’s intent is for our lives
we don’t know until later on maybe now
he will understand but but that’s not
for me to say look Dick Gregory was a
great comedian but after Wow Dick
Gregory is missing so many gigs cuz he’s
out here activism work that he had to
finally make a decision I got to lead
the comedy and do social activism maybe
in the long run he was a better social
activist than he was a comedian and he
understood his gift Richard Pryor stayed
with the comedy and used his platform to
articulate his vision of social
reconstruction through his lyrical
imagination so you know or Bill Cosby
for that matter when he was just seen as
a as a great comedian so you got to
understand what your gift is what your
time is what your opportunity is and
that’s not for us to say but as he is he
wrestles with it in his own spirit you
can imagine the injustice
I have every ability to play every skill
I’m better than half these dudes I’m
looking at and I’m being denied yeah I
got money but money ain’t what I play
for I play for the pleasure of
fulfilling my destiny right we can’t
both tell people is that what women we
can’t tell people don’t play for
something just to do it for money
Doosan you know i used to tell my son do
something you would do for free in life
and then find a way to get paid for hmm
that’s that’s that’s fulfillment right
like like writing books did he I can’t
believe your paper I mean I’m not gonna
lie to you I don’t want my editors to
hear this over my publishers but at
school
you mean they pay me to get before a
class and explore ideas from Du Bois to
Derry da from Foucault to feminist
theory to queer theory to talk about the
black church you mean they’re they’re
like giving me a paycheck for that or I
can go to church and preach so that’s my
souls bounty that’s the fulfillment of
my ideals and if you take that away from
me and say well you got two million
dollars but two million dollars ain’t
what I want what I want is to fulfill my
life purpose and whether I’m making a
billion or whether I make a dime Mike
you don’t think his life’s purpose his
destiny seems greater than football
there’s no question about that but he’s
got look dr. King wanted you to remember
dr. King said man I’ve got what I want
to do I like to go to be a Dean at
Morehouse College as a religion and
chill out and write some books all right
but he said the battering rams of
historical necessity great quoting Rhino
Newberg has pushed me into this place
and so again I would hesitate to say to
Colin Kaepernick clearly your destiny is
x y&z because the attempt and effort
that he’s making and being rejected in
public is an object lesson for somebody
looking so maybe God’s purpose is for us
to see the public exposure of the
shenanigans the hypocrisy and the in the
incredible manipulations that are going
on which are just as effective as him
occupying a slot on an NFL team and
doing what he’s gotta do
no but we can’t we can’t impose that all
we can do is derive meaning and benefit
and advantage from what we see going on
and I would never presume to tell colin
kaepernick what to do with his life
I support him with whatever he does I
just want us to be strategic in our
assistance to him and our cooperation
with him and trying to figure out the
best route to redemption in this moment
measured I’ll ask you two questions
about two people jay-z number one right
if I’m jay-z right now and you see the
way when I was in caps contract
you see they tried to get him to sign
his rights away to suit him in the
future how do you handle it well jay-z
jay-z is not going to look I’m a
businessman I matter because let me
handle my business there jay-z is the
first person gonna say I ain’t what that
B is right there’s no question the
question is I wish we could get clarity
about what it is
the NFL is sworn and there’s some good
people within that organization who
claim right righteous brothers and
others who claim no that’s not what it
is
and then Kaepernick’s people are saying
yes and of course most of us in public
don’t go get down with Kaepernick versus
that but I’d like to see it yeah we like
for us to have an honest reckoning with
what’s in there number one and then
number two think about it jay-z is a
hustler man that’s where you started
right and you hustlers
you know like making a way out of no way
right right right the hustle in in the
most edifying sense you know I quote a
guy in this book Walter mcdougal who’s a
Pulitzer prize-winning historian white
conservative historian it used to be my
colleague University of Pennsylvania he
says the central motif of American
history is hustling OJ had it right all
along a Pulitzer Prize winner said it we
heard that all reasonable doubt right
and so hustling professor mcdougal says
is you know both the good and bad
version right the go get them
the Nipsey Hussle kind I’m probably fix
so gifted I’m the kind of go get it no
kidding
right you got that kind and then you got
the kind of scuffle aus the illegal P
you got the guy at 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue the supreme hustler in the most
malignant sense of the word so both of
those meanings are
are balanced in an appreciation for the
American soul jay-z tapped into that
genius black hustling has often been
demonized in America but but but black
people had to hustle because the
illegitimate means weren’t available to
us but America as killer Mike told me
you know began with a great crime right
others have said it as well he just put
it more poetically and it begins in a
crime and every family there ever risen
in this country then built on crime then
built on criminality so jay-z
understands that the ingo never make
your fair homie you’ve got to take the
means of expression and use it to your
advantage so you can imagine a guy like
him being quote disappointed that F what
these people are saying they’re doing
now you don’t want to sign your future
way but short of that I don’t care if
they told you to Phil was 22 Valley Arts
and they get you half a pigskin you so
cold as Colin Kaepernick go out there
and show them what half a football field
and order one quarter of a football
field and half a football that you can
still do it cuz you do have those kind
of skills in other words the the
historic black obligation has been no
matter what white supremacy presents as
a limitation or an option you transform
a trans figure it through the genius of
your black expression now I know a lot
of people say no that’s not right and he
should be treated fairly of course he
should ideally but we deal with folk we
know already ain’t gonna be fair with as
far as with the filming where they said
he couldn’t have his own camera crew and
the NFL would be in charge of that
imagine they put it out before they look
like and they try to say but the NFL
came back and said we said you can have
the uncut footage you got raw footage so
you whatever we manipulate you can also
have it so you can see this distrust
which is understandable on a part of
Colin Kaepernick for the NFL but if
we’re gonna try to be fair about it and
see these are the niceties of
interpretation that get rather ugly
because it didn’t looks like oh are you
trying to give balance to the NFL over
Colin Kaepernick what are you doing
you’re a sellout no we’re trying to say
simply this we already know going in the
door that the people who have been
mistreating us will not suddenly treat
us fairly but if we have an opportunity
to showcase our wares in order to make a
bigger argument then do so was Jack
Johnson treated fair
we look at how they called those fights
yeah look at what they said about him
look at how they tried to take it away
from him was Muhammad Ali treated fairly
no I’m not saying we should therefore
replicate that we should have advantage
I’m just saying the history and the
legacy of black response to social
social and economic and racial
inequality has been the the beefing up
of a black response that in the face of
white supremacy and injustice and
hypocrisy shows that we have not only a
more powerful humanity but a more
powerful determination to prove them
wrong and you know do I agree jay-z said
financial freedom is our only hope and
that’s another reason I think that you
got to have multiple streams of income
so you’re never in a situation I know
there’s not a black hole radio station
right but if they tell me I gotta kick
rocks cool and I’m not gonna be out here
like well you don’t want me no more man
like Will Smith and Fresh Prince when
you looking for that Wow that is my face
right right
no what look all of us think we’d like
to think that I was like to think so
you’re more cos do it once again you got
to have multiple screams and I’m saying
that’s one you know what’s coming
imagine Colin Kaepernick didn’t even
know it was coming
yeah yeah like it like I’m gonna opt out
of my contract mm-hmm
I’m gonna go get an option then I’m a
move on oh you cut me off so look at and
he still gave a million dollars of his
19 million dollars that’s right to
charity so then you know the man is
remarkable in many ways so you’re right
though but see that’s what I’m saying
it’s both in that either/or what you’re
saying is absolutely right it’s not that
I disagree with you I agree with you for
a you know a full fledge but at the same
time I think that you know on the one
hand we have multiple income streams of
income we don’t be going hat-in-hand we
ain’t begging which is what he did right
he said I’m not gonna back i’ma show up
at the thing I ain’t massa Kenya can you
give me another opportunity he’s not
with that but at the same time is it is
it also good to have a skill that game
have prudence have strategy try to
figure out now in Part II did because
the reason he was able to at the last
minute go to a place 60 miles outside
y’all ready thinking about what happens
if Plan B if they mess up what I would
have ideally loved to have seen
was him go up in there again if it
wasn’t you know this this waiver if that
was a standing way all his rights to see
that’s true right if that’s not if he
could roll up in there and go all right
bet that’s what you won’t give me the
rock give me the ball right I’m gonna
tell you what I’m gonna do with it and
turn the place out and and in black
talent ingenious has often created
opportunity where none other could be
imagined right proverbs says a man’s
gift or a woman’s gift will make a way
for itself so there is a way in which
black genius has created necessity where
white resistance can not prevail and so
white folk don’t want to gain no
opportunity but what you gonna do what
you gonna do when you see it Paul Rosen
coming they tried to deny him right but
then it was another one behind him then
you got the first black ballplayers
right think about it the first black
professional ball player in the NBA died
two years ago the first black ball
player for the National Basketball
Association mr. Earl Lloyd died two or
three years ago Wow that means in your
lifetime the first dude who played ball
for the NBA died that means before him
there weren’t no Negroes hmm right and
so they created opportunity they were
Trailblazers they were forebears they
opened up spaces and let’s be real let’s
have a critical analysis here a lot of
people jump on J I get it he’s worthy of
he’s like anybody else anybody can be
criticized me you anybody did we have
any critique for loving constructive
criticism mmm-hmm if we get for the
other side we could say to Colin
Kaepernick man you come from a people
where the eyes were so impossible they
wish they had a damn waiver they wish
all they had to deal with was the size
of the football feeling if the cameras
were gonna be there and how Fair was
because in their world they didn’t even
have a legitimate shot they couldn’t
show up the racism was so thick they
couldn’t stay in the same hotel they
denied them the opportunity to apply
their craft until such a time Jackie
Robinson couldn’t stay with his
teammates they had to go to black hotels
and blacks paid right
it’s like the stuff they had to overcome
just to compete and so some would say
relatively speaking you have 90 million
dollar contract
you got an Aikido you got a lot of
endorsements and you should then there
is that mitigating factor then that
allows you to step up into the arena and
say I’m gonna do what I got to do to
knock this thing out the park so those
are the kinds of histories legacies and
traditions from which black people
emerge that have to be brought to bear
and no simple conversation about oh you
know you you’re a sellout because you
said this and you’re a sellout because
you agreed with this and you’re a
sellout because you think he should have
an alternative strategy or you’re a
sellout because you might have some
constructive criticism about what might
be being done and if your goal is X Y &
Z let me help you achieve it that’s
healthy that’s beautiful now a lot of
black people say well why can’t we do it
in public but the last time you’ve been
invited to a black meeting what the hell
is it where the hell is the black
meeting is it the n-double a-c-p all
Negros any members of that is it the
Urban League any members event is it a
crack house everybody can’t get in so my
point is and we need to have more let me
tell you what there ain’t no black me
that’s the point they’re black meetings
right Clarence Thomas and go never get
invited to the meeting you ad and he
ain’t inviting you to here trust me yeah
so the point is the mythology of the
necessity for uniformity and unity among
black people
undercuts the vibrant diversity and the
rambunctious complexity of our existence
what I mean
all of us ain’t got to be on the same
page and believe the same thing in order
for us to understand that we got to be
in the communities that love and
appreciate us and move forward
cool you don’t like Martin Luther King
jr. debt deal with Malcolm you don’t
like Malcolm cool deal with Stokely you
don’t like Stokely cool.i to be Wells
burn you don’t like her fannie lou hamer
you don’t like her Ella Baker you don’t
like them snake you don’t like them
herbal e you don’t like whatever you
don’t like the black church be
the temple demas the synagogue you know
like God do it yourself
the point is find a community that
reinforces your values that are edifying
and uplifting and then therefore in an
ad hoc fashion move forward with your
vision and social imagination intact
trying to make a difference in the world
don’t hate on nobody else that’s really
right in the Bible Paul said Paul and
Silas and all them Timothy look we got a
part
you own your path I’m on mine you don’t
like TD jakes listen to Freddie Haynes
you don’t like Freddie Haynes right
listen to a Damon Glenn listen the
Farrakhan come on mr. Parker you’re like
farc up my brother in the way in which
right and let me tell you about Minister
Farrakhan
now mr. Farrakhan invited me to to his
house right this was years and years ago
I was like what damn what I do what I do
what I do I said cuz I said the first
thing I said Minister Farrakhan I have
been very critical of you I’ve been
critical you about what I perceived to
be anti-semitic rhetoric and I’ve been
critical you about the homophobia that I
think is in your rhetoric right angle at
home I’m at his crib I’m hoping to say
the last time I’m gonna be seen and he
said my brother how can we love and
engage each other if we do not in love
correct each other hmm
so if you share with me your particular
perspective and I you mine then we have
the possibility of overcoming ours right
I got real differences I got real
critiques but the possibility of opening
up at least to talk about what those
might mean his critiques of me my
critiques of him and together we figure
out this ain’t my community that ain’t
your tribe all your skin folk ain’t yo
kinfolk and if instead of calling me a
sellout
instead of saying he’s a dumbass instead
of getting on my page start your own
page instead of dog in my book write
your own damn book instead of dog
movie Harriet are you kidding so so we
fight for years to get Harry made and I
know the the the you know some black
people say well there’s a manipulation
and this is what happens there’s a white
Savior in the film I said did you see it
no but I heard people would do that to
me all the time with my books I heard
what you said and I have to come up with
a Jesse Jackson like rhyme if my book
you do not read do not attempt to make
me bleed hello hello I sound like Jerry
Lewis hello the social media era yes but
but but doc it was before social media
to angle my ignorance is ignorance in
the 1900 in the 2000 okay
if you stupid and dumb and onion Klein
toward enlightenment social media only
manifested more clearly and more
immediately it doesn’t invent it so for
me I think it’s extremely important for
us to understand that Harriet Tubman
well she’s a British black actress she’s
Nigerian right
she’s from from West Africa so here’s my
point Harriet Tubman was one generation
removed from Africa that’s right West
Africa Cynthia Revo has a more
legitimate right to player than a whole
lot of quote American actresses who
ain’t been de who ain’t from Africa
directly right why is it that and if you
can name all the British people taking
over you’re killing your point cuz if
they named it ain’t that many right
contends I’ll play a British person he
has can he play Caribbean he has with
Robert Townsend one of my favorite
movies right KenKen Jeffrey right easy
Dominican right easy Dominican I don’t
think so is Al Pacino just a heaven odd
is he is he is he Cuban they are low to
my low friend nobody said nothing we put
that picture I don’t know I mean a lot
of Latino people they’re black but at
the same time you’re right right we
incinerate I mean so my only problem is
this younger generation thinks Scarface
is better than Godfather please please
stop the madness
just call facing me no brown if you ask
me I mean they don’t need a brown but
number one is better than number two
other young people like number two but
you know when you got Brando sitting
there why don’t you come to me first my
god
stop the cameras the dude has kilted the
scene but anyway so the point is
let’s understand that you find your
tribe where you are all black people
will not agree all black people should
not be unified because look I just have
a radio show call in black people
calling it we need unity dr. Dyson I
said yes right oh good next call we need
unity and then I say alright cool so we
don’t have to gay people in no see what
see see what see no see that’s right
dude you will unify at the expense of an
asterisk except for the gay people
straight lesbian bisexual transgender
except for them it’s always an exception
and when you have an asterisk it’s
because you’re asking at risk and you
miss out on understanding just how
complicated things are when you are
automatically excluded your body is from
the beginning seen as illegitimate
because you’re gay or because you’re
trans or because you don’t conform to
the dominant perspective of what we
think is appropriate or righteous I have
this my entire life I tried to
ordain three women as Dickens when I was
a young preacher 23 years old in
Tennessee got put out of the church the
black church I loved a black church
Robert McAfee Brown said the church is
like Noah’s Ark if it wasn’t for the
storm on the outside you couldn’t stand
the snake on the inside oh so there’s a
lot of there’s a lot of there’s a lot of
stink in the inside of the church but
there’s a lot of storm outside which is
why to me jay-z the reason I wrote this
book the reason I celebrate his you know
transition from hustle on the street to
hustler in the corporate scene the
reason I celebrate his poetic genius the
reason I celebrate his politics jay-z
didn’t start in politics when he joined
what what would Obama write he was
talking on his records all the time but
he was combining he knew on his first
album oh I gave him serious revelation
and prophecy and any feeling it like
that the same way with NAS right so you
got to figure out I got to get my
message through in a way when the remans
in the system may know tell him I got to
quote biggie mmm but then I got to get
in bin Laden been happening in Manhattan
right talking about anthrax he’s at back
then back when the police was out I did
a black man he’s sneaking that sneaking
that in to some big heaven because he
understands that you can’t give men
and straight you got to get the castor
oil with sugar that’s right
right you got to give the hard lesson
what honey so jay-z has brilliantly
fused and merged the impulse toward
poetic genius and understanding the
marketplace in a in an unparalleled
fashion and so this book celebrates that
genius and and and here’s the thing too
let’s just say you think Jay is wrong
let’s just say you think Jay is
out-of-bounds what he’s doing you don’t
cancel a dude who’s been out here for 30
years yeah and let’s be real you can’t
cancel nobody you ain’t if you want
cancel somebody cancelled Donald Trump
and you can’t so Donald Trump I’ll be
what you cancel culture then if you can
literally cancel Donald Trump because
you don’t have the ability all council
means is you withhold your assent toward
a particular phenomenons I talk you know
or or social or a social fact or reality
or you don’t give affection to or public
displays of support of I get all that
but the impose toward canceled to me as
I’ve said before is a white supremacist
ethic it is white supremacy that wants
to cancel black folk have wanted to
redeem let’s have a redemptive culture
let’s have a trade-in culture trade in
the old for the new let’s have a culture
that understands that people make
mistakes and that the very people
wanting to do the cancelling can
themselves be canceled so let’s stop the
impose toward canceling correct
engage love modify transform be
provisional agree to disagree agree to
disagree but God dang it why you got to
be mad to the degree that you hate
somebody because they say something you
don’t agree with this man has been on
the front line doing his music for 30
years he’s about to turn 50 years old on
December 4th what more can I say as he
said and to acknowledge that genius the
guy who said now all my teachers
couldn’t reach me and my momma couldn’t
beat me hard enough to match the pain of
my pop not seeing me
so with that disdain and my membrane got
on my pimp game blank the world my
defense came to make
the song cry I can’t see him coming down
my eye so I make the song cried and then
to be a man
to admit that he cheated on arguably the
most beloved woman on the globe and to
own up to it he could have played it off
Beyonce didn’t name his name on lemonade
which is why it potentially was gonna be
the greatest diss record of all time
I’ll tell you why because you ain’t
named nobody who ever does shoe fits
right whom the cat fit right
she ain’t named no name she gotta get it
though she said well she said big homey
better grow whatever do big homies a lot
of people but everybody but that’s the
brilliance of her signification that’s
the breeze the second Friday you ain’t
got you ain’t got to cancel them right
signify and what did he do he stepped up
to the plate the man owned up to it and
literally said I apologize not in
poetically clever fashion but in direct
communication that allowed him to
articulate a clear message of apology
and atonement for the sin and to
understand the necessity of therapy to
acknowledge his mother as a lesbian to
talk about the virtue and value of
therapy and to engage the demons that
had clouded his mind to make him believe
that your masculinity resides in your
ability to bed women as opposed to share
the bed with a woman who’s your equal
that’s right I mean that kind of
maturity but you gonna cancel that
because you disagree with him on one
issue whole visit genius told is a great
man not because we have been mesmerized
by his gift that we have been not
because his poetic inventiveness and
rhetorical genius is so remarkable that
it demands repeated listening it does he
is a great man because he’s been willing
to grow and evolve and to tell the truth
along the
you know allow me to reintroduce myself
and look and saying you ain’t no ain’t
no ain’t no sense in lying and saying I
can blame my environment the vibe is
still in my vein right I ain’t gonna say
oh it was the way it was the society
that forced me I want to do this there’s
something about it that is seductive to
me but he says you can change but that’s
just the top layer you was who you was
well you got him player right and so
he’s giving us philosophical discussions
about the conundrum of identity he’s
engaging us philosophically on a number
of things that is that point out in the
book he sucked my slavery he’s talking
about social injustice he’s dealing with
criminal justice reform I mean all in
the music and we miss it because he’s so
clever and he’s so sharp that we have to
go back and think about the
underpinnings of what this man has done
so the reason I wrote that book on his
50th birthday is to try to remind us of
the peculiar appeal and the unique
genius of a lasting American I got my
man Michael Eric Dyson thank you so much
for that that’s right do you have a copy
of the book already
yes he does yes I got a couple more
questions but we don’t have another two
hours out right now make sure you go get
it jay-z made in America by Michael Eric
Dyson appreciate you my brother all that
yeah
[Music]

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